FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Many Buyers do not fully understand the home buying process and what role a real estate Sales Representative plays. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that Buyers ask or don't fully understand.

WHAT DOES IT COST A BUYER TO USE A BROKER OR SALES REPRESENTATIVE?
The compensation that a Broker or Sales Representative receives typically comes from the Seller's proceeds. In other words, there is no cost for a buyer to use a Broker or Sales Representative in a traditional Broker/Sales Representative-Buyer relationship. In a Buyer Agency Agreement, there may be some cost to the Buyer, but even these agreements are usually worded so that the Broker or Sales Representative is compensated by the Seller.

CAN MY BROKER OR SALES REPRESENTATIVE GIVE ME INFORMATION REGARDING PROPERTIES FROM OTHER COMPANIES?
Yes, if that other company is a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - which most real estate companies are. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties are not listed on MLS so a Broker or Sales Representative likely would not be able to provide information about them. However, with a Buyer Representation Agreement, your Broker or Sales Representative may be able to help you purchase a FSBO property.

WHAT IF I FIND A PROPERTY ON MY OWN?
You should contact your own Broker or Sales Representative and not the property owner or the Broker/Sales Representative listing the property. Having the address or the MLS number is very helpful and will assist your Broker or Sales Representative in gathering information regarding the property.

WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION WILL MY BROKER OR SALES REPRESENTATIVE NEED FROM ME?
A Broker or Sales Representative will need any type of information regarding the property you are looking for that is important to you. For example, number of bedrooms, garage size, price, location and number of bathrooms are common criteria. Other considerations include the school district, type of home (ranch, tri-level, etc.) and room sizes. Keep in mind that a search that is too specific may narrow your list of properties too much while one that is too broad may give you more properties to look at than you have time to go through!

CAN I GO TO AN OPEN HOUSE WITHOUT MY BROKER OR SALES REPRESENTATIVE?
You can go to open houses without your Broker or Sales Representative, however, you must inform the attending Broker or Sales Representative that you already have your own Broker or Sales Representative working for you.

HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT NEW PROPERTIES?
Your Broker or Sales Representative should be able to accommodate your particular situation whether it be via email, phone calls, etc. Clients with email capability can receive automatic updates from the MLS system as soon as new listings are entered.

WHAT IF I AM UNHAPPY AND WANT TO SWITCH BROKERS OR SALES REPRESENTATIVES?
Let your Broker or Sales Representative know that you are unhappy and the reasons why. See if you can work out the issues with them.

SUMMARY
When purchasing real estate, a Broker or Sales Representative can be an invaluable resource if you remember your responsibilities:
  1. Work with just one Broker or Sales Representative
  2. Make sure you tell your Broker or Sales Representative everything
  3. Always tell other Brokers/Sales Representatives that you are already working with a Broker/Sales Representative
  4. Have a Buyer Representation Agreement Signed